I heard somewhere that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn’t exist. I don’t think that’s true at all. I think the greatest trick the devil has pulled is creating a false Christianity, a false truth.
Especially in the West.
Think about it. Look around you at what passes for Christianity in the West today. It is a “faith” that has a shiny coat of paint on it, a thin veneer of “Jesus” but lacks the substance, belief and practice of the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
I run in to this often these days. People in my circle sound good. They talk about going to church, call themselves Christians and maybe even do what they call praying. But once you start digging a bit and asking questions, that so-called faith starts to show some cracks.
For example, when I argue that Christians should probably not watch TV, I get lambasted. I have had eyes rolled; I’ve been laughed at. I even got called a prude. But, let us consider the words of St. Paul,
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Phil. 4:8).
Can anyone reading this really say that the vast majority of things you see on TV these days is anything but honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous or praiseworthy? Can anyone reading this say that anything they see on TV is any of these things? Even if you find a sporting event that seems innocuous, you have to deal with the commercials that push all sorts of sordid agendas.
Or, read the end of Romans 14:23, where St. Paul says, “…for whatever is not of faith is sin.” Whoa. Now, I want to be fair. In this text, St. Paul is speaking specifically about meat offered to idols and other things like that, but this is relatable to every aspect of our lives. Or Romans 12:1-2,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Again, can any of us believe that what we see on TV is the way we need to present our bodies as living sacrifices or the way we are to live holy lives? Can we honestly say that, by consuming the things of the world, we are transforming our minds to be renewed in Christa and prove what is good, acceptable, perfect or the will of God?
I think not.
But what our enemy has done is to make us complacent. He has created for us a false version of Christianity. It’s kind of like the Matrix. It’s a version of truth but not actually the truth. He has done this since the beginning. Look back at the Garden. We find it in Genesis 3. If you’re not familiar with the story, go read it right now. Look at what satan did. He deliberately used what God had made as good and slightly changed the phraseology. God told Adam in Genesis 2 that he was free to eat of any tree of the Garden, except the one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But what does the enemy say? He takes what God says and twists it. Look at Genesis 3. The enemy asked (I’m paraphrasing), “Did God really say you can’t eat of any of the trees in the Garden?”
The enemy knew exactly what God had said. See how he twisted it? That is not what God said. And then he brought to humanity the great temptation that we all experience. Instead of obedience and living as God has commanded and as His Church tells us to, the enemy creates a false narrative.
Where God said, “Let us make man in Our image,” the enemy says, “Let us make God in our image.”
And this is where we get this pseudo-Christianity that is so popular in the West. Rather than obey what God has said to His people and what Christ gave to the Apostles and told them to pass it on; rather than obey that, we have to make things in our own image.
Fasting is too extreme and people will think you’re a fanatic.
Don’t prostrate yourself physically before God (at times) when you pray because it’s hard on your knees.
Don’t burn incense because it makes people sneeze. Don't have long services; people have things to do.
It’s okay to listen to worldly, lustful music because it’s not actually hurting you. It’s got a good beat.
Don’t worry about what the school system is teaching your children. They’ll be fine.
Who cares if you cuss a little? And don’t worry about what kind of clothes you’re wearing; it’s fine.
And whatever you do, don’t be too fanatical about attending all those services that the Church holds throughout the year and observe all those feasts and fasts. I mean, if you did, you’d be forming your whole life and schedule around the life of Christ and the Church. We can’t have that now, can we?! I mean, we can’t be living like Christians have always lived and believed what Christian have always believed, right?!
Most modern people who call themselves Christians are much more concerned with their own comfort than they are obedience to Christ and His Church. Let’s be honest.
Jesus had some hard things to say at times. He said that we were to take up our cross and follow Him. He said that some would lose their families and livelihoods and even their lives because of Him. He said that those who put their hand to the plow and looked back were not fit for the Kingdom.
He had hard things to say.
But, luckily for us, He gave us His Church, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). The Church is where Christ is found!
Dear brothers and sisters, let us turn away from the world. Let us turn away from this thinly veiled worldly culture that has a shiny coat of “Jesus paint” on it. This is not Christianity. The Church has been with us, virtually unchanged since our Lord and His Apostles started it. As Pentecost approaches, let us turn again to the Church.
Let us turn again to Christ.
Maybe you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years or maybe, like me, you just turned off all the noise but there’s been a few things going on in the world. This is especially true here in the West (think America mostly and western Europe). All the riots, woke-ism, the LGBTQ whatever agenda, pronouns…it’s kind of dizzying. I mean, even in this rinky dink little town where we live in the middle of nowhere, it’s here. When you couple that together with the broad apostacy in both society and the Church, it can be discouraging.
Know what I spend a lot of time thinking about?
I wonder what the world is going to look like when my kids grow up. When they’re my age, how bad is it going to be?! I mean, if we spend any time at all paying attention, we have to admit that things are not getting better, they’re getting much worse. Acting like “it won’t happen here” or thinking we can just keep our heads down and “do our best” is not realistic, helpful, wise, nor biblical.
Deuteronomy 6:6-8, God tells the people of Israel (and us by the way),
“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.”
And again, Deuteronomy 11:18-19,
“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”
So, let me ask all of us a few questions: What do we talk to our kids about? What sorts of conversations are we having with our children? Are we depending on the school system to teach them what they need to know? Umm, if you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on in the American education system, you should be afraid. Sure, they are being taught math and such, but they are also being indoctrinated by the new agenda. You may say, “Not here that’s not happening.” Yes, it is. Stop being naïve. Pay attention.
My brothers and sisters, we will answer to God for our children. TV is not helpful to them. Modern music is not helpful. Disney is supremely not helpful. The “new world order” is coming for our children and, if we don’t teach them, Satan and the world will.
Look at what God has to say to His people. “Thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children.” Are we doing that? Or are we allowing the world to diligently teach our children? God says we are to “talk of them (His commands and how we are to live before Him) when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way…” and so on. Are we doing that with our children? Are we doing that with ourselves?
Here's the thing. This world is passing away. If that’s not obvious by now to us all, we are fools. Our world is utterly corrupt and broken and blackened by sin. This will not last forever. But we will.
One day, if we have fallen asleep in the Lord (or not in the Lord) and this world as we know it passes away and our Lord Jesus returns and the earth and heavens are made new, this will all be over. But the new heavens and the new earth and all who have been resurrected (that’s every human by the way) will last forever. Forever.
The spiritual reality of that has to hit us like a ton of bricks. This life is preparation for eternity. How’s that going for you right now? Are you preparing yourself for eternity? Are you preparing your children for eternity? Or are you too worried about being hip or woke or going along to get along or your job or your own comfort or just wanting them to be quiet so you can have some “me” time? P.S. I’m guilty of some of these also.
Husbands and fathers, if we are not stepping up and taking spiritual leadership of our home, we need to get on our faces and repent. We need to stop being weak. Get yourself right before the Lord and raise up your children properly. Pray for and with your family. Teach them how to pray and read Holy Scripture. If you don’t know how, find someone (your priest or pastor) who can teach you and learn. Take control of your home, men; not in a harsh way but as the one who will stand before God one day and answer for your family. This is not a game.
Wives and mothers, if you are not supporting your husband in this or you are in the way of this somehow, you need to repent. Your husband is the head of your household, not you. I know that may hit you wrong or sound harsh but it’s in the Bible and everything. It’s God’s order for the family and He didn’t ask your opinion before He made that. Swallow your pride and submit to your husband. If he is a godless man, then you still have to submit (unless it’s against Holy Scripture or Tradition) but you may have to take a more active role than you want in the spiritual life of your home and pray for your husband like his soul depends on it, because it does.
Brothers and sisters, our souls depend on this. The souls of our children depend on this. It’s time for us to stop sitting idly by while our crumbling and God-less culture indoctrinates our children. It’s time for us to fight with the weapons we have available to us. Turn the TV off, get rid of the tablets. Pray and study Holy Scripture together. Worship together. Show them by your own life how followers of Christ are to live.
Their souls will thank you one day.